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Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution

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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,945 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
Lives hang in the balance in this gripping Revolutionary War adventure from a beloved Newbery Medalist.

In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the
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ebook, 320 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Beach Lane Books
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Leslie
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Leyna There is a glossary which makes it 320 pages, but the story ends at page 302
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
74th out of 113 books — 1,218 voters
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversScarlet by A.C. GaughenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
YA Historical Fiction 2012
72nd out of 126 books — 805 voters


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Community Reviews

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JoLene
Sep 29, 2013 JoLene rated it liked it
Shelves: hf, young-adult, read-2013
This is the story of Sophia, a young colonial girl who witnesses Nathan Hale is he about to be hung for treason. This events marks the beginning of Sophia's transformation into a patriot. Sophia is spurred into action when her older brother, who fought in the battle of Brooklyn ends up on a prison ship and she tries to visit only to learn that he had died.

Sophia is a plucky little heroine and her actions had a major impact on the war. I do not know a lot about the revolutionary war, but unfortun
...more
Barbara
Twelve-year-old Sophia Calderwood is a Patriot in 1776, and the family's New York City home becomes the dwelling place of John Andre, a British officer, the first of many to stay there during the British occupation of the city. Against her will, Sophia develops a crush on Andre and becomes increasingly drawn to him--until he refuses her request to help her brother who is a prisoner of war. She vows vengeance on the man after her brother dies. Eventually, Sophia gets her chance to get back at And ...more
Jenn
Mar 31, 2016 Jenn rated it really liked it
This was a great book!

First I want to mention that I love what the author says in the note at the back: "Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction makes truth a friend, not a stranger."

I have never had a good memory when it comes to history, but if I can read a story about an event or a character, it's more likely to stick with me.

This is highly readable YA historical fiction. Even though it is written simply (on the younger side of YA) and with thorough explanations, it flows well and d
...more
Diane
Jun 05, 2013 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
As the war begins, Sophia Calderwood's family is in turmoil: her brother, serving in the army, is missing. Her father has been injured and they are forced to take in a British officer, John Andre. She is drawn to Andre, though he is the enemy. Being the only child left, Sophia must find gainful employment to help her family. She is soon taken in as a servant to the supreme commander of British forces. A position that could be very advantageous to someone who can listen and not be noticed. Soon, ...more
Kathleen
This was a pretty quick read, both because of the vocabulary and the quickness with which the action started. It should be a good choice to recommend to 4th-7th graders learning about the American Revolution, especially girls! I found it to be very enjoyable, and until I read this, Toliver's Secret was my favorite to recommend, because it's about a girl taking action and making a real difference, not just standing by and waiting for the men to come home. Now, SOPHIA'S WAR will make it a pair. Th ...more
Katie. R
Sophia's War by Avi is about a young girl who has to survive the War Of Independence and she has a brother missing that she has to save. She becomes a spy and if she fails her mission she will be hung. I love this book because it's about a powerful female and females wern't very powerful back then and so it's amazing that she is powerful.
Calvin
Jan 07, 2015 Calvin rated it it was amazing
I have yet to read a novel by Avi that I have not liked. This book is well written, with a good storyline that kept me awake at night wanting to read more. I would definitely recommend this book.
Barb
Mar 30, 2013 Barb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-gs, 2013
This was one of the best historical fiction books I've read in a long time, especially the second half of it! Obviously well researched -- right down to having a glossary of 18th century terms and Avi's note explaining which parts are true and which fiction. VERY exciting telling of an important time in our history! (It's 5th grade AR level.)
Leslie
Nov 11, 2015 Leslie rated it liked it
Read this as a first book in our mommy daughter book club. From this perspective I will say that I thought it a fun read and I enjoyed the language and style of writing. But I found Sophia to be a little too dramatic for my liking. She was so strong and so brave but then has these moments of girlish "weakness" and I was constantly reminded that she is a child because ... of a crush? Oy. Hoping my daughter will focus more on the strengths of this character and that the dramatic cliche of this tee ...more
Kristin
A slow starter that gradually grows into a thrilling tale of espionage set during the American Revolution! This book has classic children's literature written all over it in the vein of stories like My Brother Sam Is Dead, The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Johnny Tremain. Avi mixes hefty amounts of period vocabulary and language with real historical figures to successful effect. Sophia Calderwood becomes a spy in the home of British General Clinton in hopes of avenging her brother's death at the o ...more
Alex Baugh
Jan 15, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Avi has always been a favorite in our house and his latest book, Sophia's War, is another addition to his oeuvre of historical fiction that doesn't fail to satisfy. This time Avi takes the reader back to the American Revolution.

For 12 year old Sophia Calderwood, the revolutionary war is personal. Forced to flee with her mother and father when the British attack and seize lower Manhattan, on her return, Sophia and her mother witness, first, the hanging of Nathan Hale by the British for being a s
...more
Robert
Feb 12, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
In 1776 the Thirteen Colonies had been at war with The British Empire for almost a year. During that time the Americans and the British had sustained gains and losses. Some were more significant than others. Clearly, the American troops were at odds with the most formidable army and navy in the world at that time. The British war machine was well trained, well equipped, and well run. The American troops were a rag-tag collection of militias spread out across the various colonies with varying deg ...more
Megan
Sep 03, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
We have this marked as a 'middle reader' at Skylight, which we describe as literature for those roughly 8-12 years old. And Avi writes smart, complex books for that age range. He creates heroines who face challenging situations, and whose own motives are often more nuanced and less straightforward than in much children's literature. Sophia's War is a perfect example of that. Her internal emotional battle is balanced not only with a suspenseful plot but also with a really rich portrait of revolut ...more
Maggie
Jun 11, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the Book Sophia's War by Avi. I have never heard of the author so I was a little unsure of the book but it happened to be pretty good.
One reason I liked the book was the way the story was told. I don't usually read historical fiction but I enjoyed the story and the character.I really liked how Sophia was telling the story as a girl during the Revolutionary War with very strong points of view. Also, I really liked the Character the author created. She's a very strong intelligent girl wh
...more
Rachel Dumas
May 23, 2016 Rachel Dumas rated it liked it
Sofia's War is about a young girl who has seen the horrors of this tragic war. To avenge her brothers death, William, she is recruited to be a spy. She spies as a maid for a general, and finds important information on the war.
I thought that this was a great historical, fiction book. I thought it was a really good book, but I thought it lacked a little bit of adventure. I would recommend this book to people who like historical books.
Amy
Mar 19, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
listened to the audio book. Heidi LOVED it. Joe listened in a few times and got hooked. The Littles were happy enough to be close by though there were a few things I winced at. (hangings and a word or two of language-not over the top language, but not for a little-if I'd been reading i would have easily edited. I honestly don't remember the word(s). . Maybe Lords name in vain? I need to review right after reading or I forget details like that! I just remember wincing a few times but no problems ...more
Paulina Maurovich
Sep 19, 2015 Paulina Maurovich rated it really liked it
Sophia's War is not my usual cup of tea. However, I always wanted to read this genre and had this story in my to read for a long time. I also loved Avi's writting in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, which I read when I was very young. I must say, I was not dissapointed with this book, it is a great story and it has a great plot and an amazing main character.

Complete Book Review: Here

Tamhack
Feb 28, 2016 Tamhack rated it it was ok
I like historical novels. This was the American Revolutionary War through the eyes of the young girl. Sometimes it was hard to see through this young girl's perspective. It was hard to picture the lay of the land at that time in my mind--she did a lot of walking. It was worth reading though; a new perspective. This was the first book of Avi's I have read, I am going to put more on my to read list.

The author did weave in history into her fiction smoothly. I had to go back to read up again on Nath
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Nancy Knab
Oct 08, 2015 Nancy Knab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sophia Calderwood is a 12 year old girl who was taught to read and write by her beloved brother William. No one has seen William since he marched off to war with George Washington.

Sophia witnesses the hanging of Nathan Hale, and that horrifying event sets the tone for Sophia’s actions. Her family home has been commandeered by the British Army as lodging for one of their officers, John Andre. When Sophia discovers her brother William has been taken prisoner, she begs Andre to help him. Andre cal
...more
Ella
Sep 10, 2014 Ella rated it really liked it
The main character is Sofia and she is Brave because She is doing one of the most dangerous things anyone can do at that time to save her country.Another character is Major André and he is charming but also mean because he charms all the women he meets but is also gone snotty now he's a general and only cares about winning the war. He is an British solider and is making plans to win the war. Another character is William and he is admirable because he dropped everything and went of to war and whe ...more
Cristin
Aug 03, 2014 Cristin rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine
Feb 02, 2015 Christine rated it did not like it
I keep reading books by Avi and keep disliking them. Sophia's War got so many great reviews and the kids in class really wanted to read it for their lit. circle book on historical fiction. Blah. I'll give it a thumbs up on painting a bleak picture of life in New York when the British were there. Typically, the books are all sunshine and bravery. But, the romance part - who needs it? Finally, a strong, female, character who defies the odds, becomes a spy, risks her life and her family...but she h ...more
Jo Sorrell
Aug 10, 2015 Jo Sorrell rated it liked it

Sophia's War: a Tale of the Revolution
In 1776, the War of Independence comes to New York City, and to twelve-year-old Sophia Calderwood’s family. William, her older soldier brother, was convinced by his friend to join the war. Now he has been missing since the defeat of George Washington’s Army at the Battle of Brooklyn.

When the British occupy the city, Lieutenant John André of the English Army, is billeted at the Calderwood home. He and Sophia develop a flirtatious friendship, which is tested
...more
Ellen
Apr 16, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Few Revolutionary War stories are as captivating as the chain of events that surround Benedict Arnold and his British counterpart, John Andre. Avi takes us there through the eyes of Sophia Calderwood. Sophia is a young American patriot, passionate about the cause of liberty and devoted to her brother who is serving in General Washington's army. She is horrified and haunted to see the hanging of Nathan Hale as a spy, but as a girl at age 12, can't do much about it. Then, to add insult to injury, ...more
Miss Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Ann
Oct 22, 2012 Jo Ann rated it really liked it
Fictional character Sophia Calderwood's journey through the terrifying times of the Revolutionary War is so interesting. I read this book to be able to discuss with my granddaughter, who's writing a book report on this book, and again, I learned - or re-learned - a lot of what I'd missed about Benedict Arnold, Jon Andre, General Clinton, etc. in history classes. Great book!
Sadie N.
Sep 24, 2014 Sadie N. rated it it was amazing
This book reminds me of Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains, except it is told by a young white patriot girl. The ending was very satisfying and I enjoyed the changes of Sofia's relationship with Major Andre, the British soldier. The book was both sad and happy and very hard to put down. It is unlike most other historical fiction books about the American Revolution.
Rebecca
Sep 17, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: teens
A thrilling journey into the past awaits readers of Sophia's War. Avi provides a fictional explanation for a couple small coincidences in the history of the Revolutionary War that always troubled him. Sophia is a 12 year old girl who lives in Manhattan at the time the war breaks out. As the book begins, she witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale. This, and her brother's rough (and (view spoiler))treatment at the hands of British troops, deepens her commitment to ...more
Melinda
Mar 15, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
I have yet to find an Avi novel that I have not enjoyed, and this one is no exception. I prefer historical fiction and this story of young Sophia Calderwood incorporates the essential mix of fact and invention. For a twelve-year-old girl, Sophia portrays great courage and maturity, as she is placed in often treacherous situations. When her father is injured and is no longer able to work as before, Sophia willingly picks up the slack and becomes the family's primary wage earner. She equally puts ...more
Catherine
Apr 07, 2015 Catherine rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

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“Yes, it is hard to discover a truth. But it is much harder to be unable to do anything about it. It's as if you know for certain a building will collapse and not one soul―not even those within―will listen to your warning. Hearing truth makes many deaf.” 5 likes
“Like Indian corn in August, the "what ifs" in my life were growing fast. Too fast.” 2 likes
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